O Christ, He is the fountain

O Christ, He is the fountain,
  The deep, sweet well of life:
Its living streams I’ve tasted
  Which save from grief and strife.
And to an ocean fulness,
  His mercy doth expand;
His grace is all-sufficient
  As by His wisdom planned.
O I am my Beloved’s,
  And my Beloved’s mine;
He brings a poor vile sinner
  Into His house of wine!
I stand upon His merit;
  I know no other stand.
I’m hidden in His presence
  And held by His own hand.
The Bride eyes not her garment,
  But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory,
  But on my King of grace:
Not at the crown He giveth,
  But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory,
  And my eternal stand!
Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Samuel Rutherford spent 1.5 years in prison in Aberdeen because he refused to accept the Established Church of Charles I. He called himself the prisoner of Jesus Christ and called these 18 months spent in confinement, the sweetest in his life. Years after his release he still considered himself the Lord's prisoner. When he was dying he said: "My Honorable Master and Lovely Lord has pardoned, loved, and washed, and given me 'joy unspeakable and full of glory'."

Samuel Rutherford was born in Nesbet Parish, Scotland in 1600. The day and month are not known. He was such a brilliant student that he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at Edinburgh University while he was an undergraduate, and he continued in this position for some time after he obtained his degree. During the year 1630 or shortly before, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland and was appointed pastor at Anworth in Galloway. Rutherford was loved by all who knew and heard him. There was no place large enough in all the community to hold the great crowds who wanted to hear him.

Samuel Rutherford was a man of great learning and was in great favor with the Bishops and scholars of both Scotland and England. He could have chosen an easy way, and he could have lived in luxury as a Bishop of the established church or as one of the greatest university professors of his day; but he turned both aside. He refused to accept the establishment and wrote against the evils of that Church. Some bishops hoped he would be diplomatic and withdraw his writings, but he refused. Charles I ordered Rutherford to be imprisoned in Aberdeen.

Like St. Paul in Rome and John Bunyan at Bedford, Rutherford was allowed to go to his own hired house at times. During his 1.5 years of imprisonment, his letters to friends and parishioners have become classics of spiritual beauty. In reading his letters, I did not find one instance of his having murmured or complained of his wretched prison conditions. Others referred to it but he did not. Rutherford lived in the presence of his Lord and King, and his dingy cell became illuminated by the Light of the World. His prison became to him the Palace of the King. From his prison letters we read: "I dare not but speak to others what God has done to His poor, afflicted prisoner. His comfort is more than I ever knew before. He has made all His promises good to me, and has filled up all the blanks with His own hand. I would not exchange my bonds for all the plastered joy of this whole world. It has pleased Him to make a sinner, the likes of me, a banqueter in His House; with that Royal Princely One, Christ Jesus. Oh, what weighing, oh, what telling is in His love! How sweet must He be, when that black, burdensome tree, His own cross, is so perfumed with joy and gladness! Oh, for help to lift Him up by praises on His royal throne!"

Again he wrote to a friend: "My Lord is kinder to me than He ever was. It pleases Him to dine and sup with His afflicted prisoner; a King feasts with me, and His 'spikenard casts a sweet smell'. Put Christ's love to the test, and put upon it our burdens, and then it will appear love indeed; we employ not His love, and therefore we know it not. I verily count the sufferings of my Lord more than this world's over-gilded glory. My Lord has fully recompensed my sadness with His joys, my losses with His presence. I find it a rich and sweet thing to exchange my sorrows for Christ's joys, my afflictions with that sweet peace I have with Himself."

During Cromwell's Commonwealth, Rutherford was made Rector of the College at St. Andrews. When Charles II came to the throne, Rutherford refused to accept a new "Popish prayer book" and pronounced this infringement an indecency. The wrath of Charles II and the prelates fell on him and he was indicted for treason. He was driven from office and would have been beheaded had not death intervened.

When the officers came to arrest him, Rutherford was near death. He smiled at them who would take him prisoner and said: "I am summoned before a higher Judge and Judicatory, and I am behooved to attend them."

Later he held his hand out and with face beaming, said: "I shall shine, I shall see Him as He is; I shall see Him reign, and all His fair company with Him; and I shall have my large share; mine eyes shall see my Redeemer, these very eyes of mine, and no other for me. My honorable Master and Lovely Lord, my great and royal King, has not a match in heaven or in earth. I have my own guiltiness like any other man, but He has pardoned, loved, washed and given me 'joy unspeakable and full of glory'. I shall sleep in Christ, and when I awake I shall be satisfied with His likeness." His body broken but his spirit unbreakable, he passed away in 1661. With a wave of his frail hand he said: "Glory, glory dwells in Immanuel's land!" And all the trumpets sounded for him on the the other side. He had entered the Palace Beautiful, a guest of his "Lovely Lord".

Samuel Rutherford was not a hymn writer. But "Glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel's Land", or "The Sands of Time are Sinking", is known as Rutherford's hymn, although he was not the author. This hymn was written by Anne Ross Cousin, whose husband, William, was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland in Melrose.

Mrs. Cousin read all the letters of Rutherford and was so thrilled with his life and so filled with the Spirit that was his, that she wrote his testimony in verse about the year 1847. His dying words: "But glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel's land" became the glad refrain. - 'More Living Hymn Stories' by Wilbur Konkel

William Jeng

Irvine, CA, United States

Without Christ we have no merit, without Christ we have no stand. The lamb is all the glory, and our eternal stand!

Jessica Fehrenbach

Austin, Texas, United States

We sang this at our wedding..Rolf and Jessica Fehrenbach.

Stephen Winterer

Spokane, WA, United States

Like Frank Diaz I too was at Elden hall during the golden age!

This hymn has seen me through Many storms yet the bridegroom remains altogether lovely. Read the

Letters of Samuel Rutherford, the author of this exquisite

Song, who was known for his profound love for Christ.

Steve Miller

Livonia, MI, United States

The original title of this hymn (more like a ballad of 19 stanzas) is "The Sands of Time are Sinking", inspired by the life of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) a pastor in the town of Anwoth, Scotland who was banished for his nonconformity and then wrote 365 letters, which Spurgeon held to be 'the nearest thing to inspiration that can be found in all the writings of mere man.' The name of the tune for this hymn is "Rutherford".

The 19th stanza refers to Rutherford's being charged with high treason, but his death intervened before he could be tried. His epitaph on his tombstone concluded "Aquainted with Immanuel's song."

Hymnal.net stanza 1 is the original 2nd stanza.

Hymnal.net stanza 2 is the original 15th stanza.

And Hymnal.net stanza 3 is the original 17th stanza (after the resurrection).


1 The sands of time are sinking,

the dawn of heaven breaks;

The summer morn I’ve sighed for—

the fair, sweet morn awakes:

Dark, dark hath been the midnight,

but dayspring is at hand,

And glory, glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


2 O Christ, He is the fountain,

the deep, sweet well of love!

The streams of earth I’ve tasted

more deep I’ll drink above:

There to an ocean fullness

His mercy doth expand,

And glory, glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


3 Oh! Well it is forever,

Oh! well forevermore,

My nest hung in no forest

of all this death doomed shore:

Yea, let the vain world vanish,

as from the ship the strand,

While glory—glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


4 There the Red Rose of Sharon

unfolds its heartsome bloom

And fills the air of heaven

with ravishing perfume:

Oh! To behold it blossom,

while by its fragrance fanned

Where glory—glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


5 The King there in His beauty,

without a veil is seen:

It were a well spent journey,

though seven deaths lay between:

The Lamb with His fair army,

doth on Mount Zion stand,

And glory—glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


6 Oft in yon sea beat prison

My Lord and I held tryst,

For Anwoth was not heaven,

and preaching was not Christ:

And aye, my murkiest storm cloud

was by a rainbow spanned,

Caught from the glory dwelling

in Immanuel’s land.


7 But that He built a heaven

of His surpassing love,

A little new Jerusalem,

like to the one above,

“Lord take me over the water”

hath been my loud demand,

Take me to my love’s own country,

unto Immanuel’s land.


8 But flowers need nights cool darkness,

the moonlight and the dew;

So Christ, from one who loved it,

His shining oft withdrew:

And then, for cause of absence

my troubled soul I scanned

But glory shadeless shineth

in Immanuel’s land.


9 The little birds of Anwoth,

I used to count them blessed,

Now, beside happier altars

I go to build my nest:

Over these there broods no silence,

no graves around them stand,

For glory, deathless, dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


10 Fair Anwoth by the Solway,

to me thou still art dear,

Even from the verge of heaven,

I drop for thee a tear.

Oh! If one soul from Anwoth

meet me at God’s right hand,

My heaven will be two heavens,

In Immanuel’s land.


11 I’ve wrestled on t'wards heaven,

'gainst storm and wind and tide,

Now, like a weary traveler

that leaneth on his guide,

Amid the shades of evening,

while sinks life’s lingering sand,

I hail the glory dawning

from Immanuel’s land.


12 Deep waters crossed life’s pathway,

the hedge of thorns was sharp;

Now, these lie all behind me

Oh! for a well tuned harp!

Oh! To join hallelujah

with yon triumphant band,

Who sing where glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


13 With mercy and with judgment

my web of time He wove,

And aye, the dews of sorrow

were lustered with His love;

I’ll bless the hand that guided,

I'll bless the heart that planned

When throned where glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


14 Soon shall the cup of glory

wash down earth’s bitterest woes,

Soon shall the desert briar

break into Eden’s rose;

The curse shall change to blessing

the name on earth that’s banned

Be graven on the white stone

in Immanuel’s land.


15 O I am my Beloved’s

and my Beloved’s mine!

He brings a poor vile sinner

into His “house of wine.”

I stand upon His merit—

I know no other stand,

Not e'en where glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.


16 I shall sleep sound in Jesus,

filled with His likeness rise,

To love and to adore Him,

to see Him with these eyes:

’Tween me and resurrection

but Paradise doth stand;

Then—then for glory dwelling

in Immanuel’s land.


17 The Bride eyes not her garment,

but her dear Bridegroom’s face;

I will not gaze at glory

but on my King of grace.

Not at the crown He giveth

but on His pierced hand;

The Lamb is all the glory

of Immanuel’s land.


18 I have borne scorn and hatred,

I have borne wrong and shame,

Earth’s proud ones have reproached me

for Christ’s thrice blessed Name:

Where God His seal set fairest

they’ve stamped the foulest brand,

But judgment shines like noonday

in Immanuel’s land.


19 They’ve summoned me before them,

but there I may not come,

My Lord says “Come up hither,”

My Lord says “Welcome home!”

My King, at His white throne,

my presence doth command

Where glory—glory dwelleth

in Immanuel’s land.

Salvador Z. Tarun, Jr.

Pittsburgh, PA, United States

This hymn deeply resonates in my heart --- sweet, pure, profound, eternal. An apt offering of sweet aroma to our dear Beloved who gave His life for us. A marriage song for our Universal Bridegroom.

Tom H Walker

Comox, BC, Canada

That song was sung many times in Toronto and in Vancouver where I met over many years with some beloved brothers and sisters. Now many years later I offered it by email this day to a brother through whom I was invited to his native India in 2002. Now I am impelled by the Lord to return to India for my 16th visit. The central theme of the message the Lord has put on my heart is contained in verse 3 - 'The Bride eyes not her garment, But her dear Bridegroom's face... Now our dear Bridegroom is at the very doors!

Samuel Hall

Camuy, Puerto Rico

I will be using this hymn in my wedding in 1 week, and I'm enjoying Christ as my deep sweet well of life!

To brother Samuel Frank Diaz: your comment is very touching. Although I can't empathize with your loss, your faith and eternal hope in the Lord are a real supply and encouragement to me. I feel insufficient in being able to supply you with words of my own, so I would like to share with you the following:

"His grace is all-sufficient

As by His wisdom planned."

Keep gazing on the King of grace, brother.

Your brother in Christ,

Sam Hall

Samuel Frank Diaz

Yorktown Heights, New York, United States

I woke up 2 hours earlier than usual today. Immediately I started planning my day thinking I have a real jump start.

I've recently lost my wife to cancer, although it's been 8 months I'm still surprised when I don't see her in the morning. I miss that morning hug and "hi babe."

This morning I'm enjoying that morning hug with Our Beloved Bridegroom and King of grace.

I want to spend more time gazing at Him and enjoying His wonderful presence.

I heard this song many years ago (1970) at Elden Hall in Los Angeles. Someone shouted out "SISTERS." All these women rose to their feet and started singing this song and it had to be one of the most memorable moments of my life. To put the icing on the cake a sister than shouted out "BROTHERS." The sisters sat down; the brothers stood up to sing and I realized I'm a sister also!! We all rose together for the last verse and I'm not kidding I thought we were going to sing it again right at the throne.

Thank You Lord Jesus that after so many years "You're still the One!!

God's dealing with His redeemed people through the Trinity was for the purpose of keeping them in the enjoyment of His riches through His divine dispensing. Without the Angel of Jehovah, Jehovah had no way to go with them in their midst. For Jehovah to be with His people, there was the need of the Angel. Today without Christ, God has no way to be with us. Furthermore, the cloud and the pillar of cloud were necessary for God to come to His people and stay with them. Similarly, today the Spirit, the pneumatic Christ, enables God to come to us and stay with us so that we may enjoy His presence. The crucified Christ as the cleft rock is our standing and hiding before the manifested God. Hymns, #298 says, "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; / All other ground is sinking sand." Hymns, #206 says, "I stand upon His merit; / I know no other stand." Because the crucified Christ, Christ in His death, is our standing and our hiding, we can communicate with and contact God. The merciful and governmental God and the rebellious, stiff-necked people can be brought together only through the Angel, the pillar of cloud, the cleft rock, and the hand of Jehovah, which typify Christ as God's sent One, the pneumatic Christ, Christ in His death, and Christ as the covering in God's manifestation. Because of the operation of the Trinity in this way, we now enjoy God's continual presence. Moreover, He manifests Himself to us, and we see Him in a hidden way. We have a standing and a hiding, a covering. This all-inclusive care of the Divine Trinity is for the purpose of His remaining with us to dispense Himself for our enjoyment.